Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Rheumatology for October 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
U.S. Medicare Spending on Elderly Has Outpaced Canada's
TUESDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Medicare spending on the elderly has grown nearly three times faster than its Canadian counterpart, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Genuine Very Large Effects in Trials Rare in Medicine
TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Large treatment effects are most likely to be found in small studies, with the effect diminishing with additional trials, according to research published in the Oct. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
TNF Inhibitor Use Doesn't Up Short-Term Cancer Incidence
MONDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of chronic immune-mediated diseases with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors does not result in any short-term increase in cancer incidence, compared with other commonly used therapies for these conditions, according to a study published online Oct. 10 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Return to Work Difficult for Doctors on Sick Leave
THURSDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Returning to work after a prolonged sick leave for physical or mental health problems, or drug or alcohol problems, is difficult for doctors, who describe self-stigmatization and fear a negative response on their return to work, according to a study published online Oct. 15 in BMJ Open.
Delays in Diagnosis, Variations in Treatment for Morphea
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with localized scleroderma (morphea) often experience delay in diagnosis and variability in treatment that is based more on the specialty of the provider than disease characteristics, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Women With RA Report Lower Sexual Function
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has negative effects on sexual function in women, with depressive symptoms and disease severity linked to the degree of sexual dysfunction, according to a study published in the October issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Patellofemoral Disease Features Analyzed in Osteoarthritis
MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with osteoarthritis (OA), knees affected by more severe patellofemoral (PF) disease have distinct features from those of patients with tibiofemoral (TF) OA in isolation or in combination with mild PF disease, according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Methotrexate Use Linked to Reduced Mortality in RA
FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Use of methotrexate for one year or more is associated with a reduction in the risk of mortality for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a study published online Oct. 8 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Leflunomide Considered Safe, Effective for Psoriatic Arthritis
FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Leflunomide is effective for the treatment of patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in daily clinical practice, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Diabetes Independently Predicts Severe Osteoarthritis
FRIDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes is independently associated with increased risk of severe osteoarthritis, and independently predicts arthroplasty, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Diabetes Care.
Belimumab Deemed Safe for Long-Term Treatment of Lupus
TUESDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Belimumab is safe for long-term administration in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), according to a study published in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Increased Weight Cuts Death Risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis
THURSDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese reduces the risk of all-cause mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, according to a study published in the October issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
Limiting the Problem of Missing Data Urged for Clinical Trials
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Missing data compromise inferences from clinical trials, and due to the problematic nature of compensation with analysis methods, the importance of avoiding missing data in clinical trials is paramount, according to a special report published in the Oct. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Cherry Intake Linked to Lower Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Eating cherries or cherry extract is associated with a significantly lower risk of gout attacks, and this effect is intensified when cherry intake is combined with allopurinol use, according to research published online Sept. 28 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Increased VTE Risk Seen in Rheumatoid Arthritis Qualified
TUESDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with an increase in the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), a risk that appears stable over the first 10 years after diagnosis, according to a study published in the Oct. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Observation Units Could Save $3.1 Billion Nationally Per Year
TUESDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of observation units to U.S. hospitals which do not currently have them in place could save $3.1 billion nationally per year in health care costs, according to a study published online Sept. 26 in Health Affairs.
New Guidelines Issued for Management of Gout
TUESDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Approaches for management of gout are presented in a two-part guideline issued by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and published online Sept. 28 in Arthritis Care & Research.
Patients Benefit From Access to Physician Notes
MONDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients report clinically relevant benefits and minimal concerns, while doctors do not experience negative consequences, from allowing patient access to visit notes, according to a study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Gene ID'd With Possible Role in Disc Degeneration
MONDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The PARK2 gene may be associated with lumbar disc degeneration (LDD), according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
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